This chapter covers the four main points of entry in the Philippines most commonly used by yachts out of Hong Kong and the southern part of Southeast Asia. We also include additional anchorage information on the west coast of Palawan.
The Philippine islands, formerly Spanish, then an American protectorate, have been independent since just after WWII.
The blending of early Spanish and modern American influence on an ethnic Asian population has left an interesting cultural mix. Mainly Muslim in the south and Roman Catholic in the north, the people are well known for their cheerful disposition and generally well-educated background. Nonetheless, the economy remains one of the least affluent amongst Southeast Asian nations. The Americans still maintain a naval base at Subic Bay. Subic has a marina, as does Manila Bay.
The Republic of Philippines comprises over 7,000 islands covering 115,000 square miles with a population of over 90 million. The opportunities for cruising among these islands are endless, although there are still security issues in some areas in the south around Mindanao and the Sulu Sea. In 2015 two Canadian yachtsmen were abducted along with the Norwegian marina manager. They were held for ransom and, at the time of writing, two had been murdered by their kidnappers.
Recent political developments have renamed the region Bangsamoro and it will become a more autonomous state within the Philippines. Hopefully, this will lead to economic development and a safer cruising destination before the next edition.
The usual weather pattern is southwesterly April to November and northeasterly December to March. The coolest months are December to February.
The Philippines lie astride the typhoon belt and can experience as many as ten typhoons from July to October each year.
Local weather forecasting is detailed and accurate and it is essential to know where the major typhoon-safe harbours are. There are many of them within this extensive archipelago.
Below, we list the main anchorage locations for The Philippines that are featured in the book – together with one sample anchorage. For a complete list of all 600+ anchorage locations, go to Southeast Asia Pilot index
While every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained in this book is accurate, the charts of anchorages are based on personal experience and satellite imagery and are intended as a guide only. They should not be used for navigation. Please refer to Official Hydrographic Charts of the respective countries.
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